Victoria imposes new coronavirus restrictions as coronavirus infections rise by 671

Henrietta Strickland
August 2, 2020

It comes amid calls from doctors for a "New Zealand-style full lockdown", as Covid-19 infections and deaths in Melbourne mount.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has today announced a number of new restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria, including an increase in restrictions and an 8pm curfew for Melburnians as Victoria is declared a state of emergency for at least the next six weeks.

Melbourne's streets have been quiet this week as cases continued to spiral.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there were discussions being had about the prospect of further restrictions like New Zealand has had, requiring the shutdown of all non-essential services.

The news comes as two more workers, believed to be health department officials, in the state's troubled quarantine hotels program for returned travellers tested positive to Covid-19.

Movement restrictions and business operations would also be limited in the rest of the state, but not to the same level as in Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce stricter lockdowns within the next few days. Now the state accounts for about 60% of Australia's 17,300 cases.

Residents in metropolitan Melbourne are subject to stay-at-home orders and can only leave home for essential work, study, exercise or care responsibilities.

Andrews said further restrictions were needed to act as a "circuit breaker" to curb community transmission, as he acknowledged tougher restriction would take an economic toll.

"We will continue to offer as much support as we can", Tehan said.

"The numbers are too high and there is a growing case for us to do more", Andrews told a televised briefing.

Victoria has recorded 671 new coronavirus infections as authorities prepare to tighten restrictions in a desperate attempt to smother the surging outbreak. Victoria on Saturday reported the deaths of a man and two women aged in their 80s and 90s, and 397 new cases.

Andrews said hospital nurses had now worked more than 570 shifts in care homes. "There's no question these are very hard times in Victoria".

As it now stands, there are a staggering 760 cases across Victoria that are unable to be traced back to an original source, which is of utmost concern to the Andrews government. This brings the state's deaths in the pandemic to 116 and Australia's tally to 201.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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